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Monthly Archives: June 2004

>It’s been a good day and a difficult day. I’ve finished some good code for the Olde PhD (+ future research). It’s real-time and making lots of noise – controlled noise. Justin phoned and told me that he now has funding in place for the Metamusic project, which is also good. Mona’s health is still not OK, and I’m starting to feel bad as well. I suspect that after all those years we’re kind of linked together both in mind and body. This makes one think about what the hell am I doing in my research. These computers are pretty irrelevant at the end of the day. We should work more on health and quality of life.

>So, the paperwork has been cleared. Sean and I have a new commission from Lyric FM. I’ve put up a first teaser on our softday site. This will, of course, be the most amazing composition and project, so far. You will all be able to contribute. Beware: everybody with a mobile telephone is carrying a musical instrument! More details will follow…

>During World War 2, Sweden allowed Hitler and his Nazis to transport troops to the occupied Norway through the then neutral, but friendly, Sweden. The Norwegians have never forgotten this. They haven’t forgiven it either. Now, we have the same here where Bertie and Mary are welcoming GWB and allowing him to send young innocent people to and from Iraq and Afghanistan, through the neutral but friendly Ireland. When will we ever learn…

>This evening, which leads to the shortest night of the year 2004, we sat outdoors watching the sunset over the green hills of County Clare. Tomorrow will be the longest day of the year. With Tor, Oden, Freja, and all Asar and Asynjor. May all the Gods of Valhalla be with us!

>I visited the annual degree/diploma exhibition of the Limerick School of Art and Design – creativeVision2004. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the artistic year. Hundreds of works in all kinds of media, from ceramics, paintings, mixed media and installations to interactive media work.

Julie Fitzsimons’s ceramic lamps are really amazing, a feel of sea shells and mystery.

Briona Gallagher’s Fashion & the cross images are impressive. I particularly liked the Last Supper…

Aoife Murphy’s music and installation was really great. It really appealed to me and it’s impressive how much work she has produced, bridging the gaps between visual, auditory, spaces, places and cultures.

I also liked the stone carvings of Dolores Nally, again and exploration of male-female, retaining the integrity of the stone while making organic patterns.

Finally, I think Celene Murphy’s Shangri-La was an extremely strong video piece. Some people left during the showing. I saw it twice. I think it’s about male-female, perhaps rape, but definitely about power and violence.

>It’s been an interesting day. Some PhD stuff done (never enough!), wrote research report and a budget, answered a Zillion emails. Later on today (after sleeping for perhaps 4 hours), I’m taking Mona to the Doc for further check-up. In the afternoon I’m looking forward to having a chat with Joe and if Bruce is lucky we might have a demo.

I cooked Bouillabaisse tonight. It’s one of my favourite fish dishes. This evening I used tuna, salmon, cod, prawns, mussels, clams + a tonne of vegetables + a bottle of white wine. And loads of garlic, of course.

On Saturday, the School of Art and Design here in Limerick are having their Degree Show. This is often one of the highlights of the artistic year. Some years, you see the influence of boring old lecturers; other years you see the results of fresh and original ideas. And, you always meet interesting people.

>The blogs are spreading. We now have Lui, Ian, Martina and a group blog for IDC.

The big questions are: who will continue to write and who will continue to read and comment. I think blogs are a very interesting form of conversation. For me, I think it’s a way to get rid of excessive amounts of adrenalin, or, a way to say small nice things about the world we live in.

The last couple of days have been crazy. Mona, my wife, has been ill and I’m really worried about what’s going on. The local medics and hospital staff have been really nice, but we’re still not out of the woods. I’ve been trying to write a number of things, ranging from PhD-stuff, to admin stuff and research reports. At times, I’ve been so over-stressed so I’ve been trembling. Not good. Not good at all. Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to have a normal life, whatever that is. But I’ve never had one. Only my life. And that’s pretty complicated. If life were easy, everybody would be doing it.

We watched a nice old Stanley Kubrick film this evening – Dr. Strangelove. It’s amazing how relevant the issues still are, despite the disappearance of the Iron Curtain and the Cold War. The actor doing General Jack Ripper (!) looked very much like GWB (scary). Which brings me to my next thought.

So now we have an imagined War on Terrorism, which is a total oxymoron and lie. I’ve only had a single year of formal military training (about 28 years ago, and before that, a couple of years of voluntary study of air force stuff), but as far as I know you cannot fight a War on Terrorism. The latter is not localised to a country or territory. There are no declarations or protocols of conduct. No laws. Before terrorism, we (or rather they) had the problem of Guerrilla tactics. You can’t have a War on Guerilla[s]. It’s also an oxymoron. It’s insane. When will people of this lonely planet finally notice the lies we’re being fed through mega-media and start thinking (according to Ripper, above, the problem is Fluoridisation of drinking water, a Commie-plot to contaminate our clean bodily fluids – same idea as Kathy Synnot in the recent EU election ;-). We need to stop the oil-profiteering and energy-guzzling b****xes of Planet Earth. When I’m finished with the PhD, I definitely will spend some time on sustainable tech (and a wee bit on Music).

At the end of the day (perhaps 20 million years from now) Earth will finally be pretty Mostly Harmless (Thanks Douglas!). Humans (and a lot of other things) will probably be gone. Entropy wins. Still, if your lucky, the atoms, or in worst case the quarks, of your mind and body will still be somewhere in there 😉


Ray Charles is dead. His music will live forever. He’s one of my absolute total incredible favourite love-his-stuff-with-my-whole-body-and-soul guys on the planet. When I heard of his death today, I went to my stack of CDs for my Ray stuff. Funnily (or strange) enough, my favourite Ray Charles song I don’t have with Ray himself. It’s “What’d I Say”. I only have it with Jerry Lee Lewis…

Ray is also the King of the Fender Rhodes. I love my Rhodes, so did Ray. Even if they give you a full grand costing-a-bloody-fortune piano, for real soul stuff the Rhodes is essential. Although my latest MIDI modules have a number of different Rhodes sounds, it doesn’t sound the same as the Real Thing. Just as Ray notes in the Blues Brothers movie about a keyboard’s “action”, so do I. A few times when playing gigs and we’ve allowed other musicians to use our gear, other people using my Rhodes does not sound right. They don’t have the soul. I’d say there’s soul food in Valhalla tonight. Ray is rocking the joint. There’s no stopping, no end. The music goes on. Play it again, Ray!

>At work, the University of Limerick, we have a group of people called ITD – Information Technology Department. Recently, and over the last couple of days, they apparently had a problem that one (out of 256) computers in our user group (IDC) had been used for hacking. Hacking. First of all I’m delighted that our students actually hack. In my mind, that’s real programming. That’s exactly what I’m up to tonight. The friggin operating system isn’t good enough, other people’s lousy software is crap, and eventually you get angry enough at the sheer incompetence and ignorance and sit down and break your brain to write something that’s better. Much Better. Just to prove that the ignoramus are as incompetent as they appear. Well. To cut a long story short, our beloved ITD people decided to block all IP addresses in our block, all 256 of them, hence our web servers, groupware, etc., does not work for the outside world at the moment. If they get their act together, you’ll get my photos in previous postings. Otherwise, I’ll move the files to a server in the free world.


Thursday was a soft day… Not really raining, but all surfaces outdoors get wet. I think Hundertwasser has a point there – colours and textures only come to life when they are interacting with water. I got some PhD work done, but there’s still a lot to write. A lot…

Wednesday evening was beautiful. Warm, blue skies and everything. The grass has been cut in the field in the back of our house. Comparing to last year, it’s two weeks earlier! We did a BBQ and had our dinner outdoors – a couple of home made burgers, bread and salad, with herbs and rocket from our own garden. And, of course, a couple of glasses of wine.

En evening like this really makes we wonder. What’s life all about? This of course, living! Enjoying nature, listening to the birds singing, touching the grass, feeling the soft warm air against your skin, having a quiet conversation, playing with the dog.